Showing posts with label Google Earth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Earth. Show all posts

Did Canadian Teen Really Discover a Lost Mayan City?

We have an update today on that fascinating story that I posted yesterday about a 15-year old Canadian boy who claimed to have discovered a lost Mayan city in the Yucatan Peninsula. It seems that experts are poking holes in the young man's theories, saying that he didn't find a missing city at all, but instead spotted an overgrown agricultural field instead.

The original story was that school boy William Gadoury noticed that Mayan cities were located on a map in the same shape as several constellations in the sky. Looking at old star maps, the then overlaid the constellations on terrestrial maps and noticed that there were locations where cities should have lined up with the stars, but there were no known settlements there. So, William broke out Google Earth and started pouring over the images in search of manmade structures, discovering what looked like the remnants of a prior civilization.

Naturally, the story has struck a chord with the public, many of whom have been fascinated by this narrative, while also wondering why no one else had noticed this placement of Mayan cities in the past. Well, it turns out that there may be some basic issues with the teenager's general premise, as National Geographic explains, and the structures that he spotted in the satellite images may not be as old as he suspects or possibly not even man-made at all.

Archaeologist Ivan Šprajc says that the square shape spotted on the map is really an abandoned field that probably isn't any more than 20 or 30 years old. He also says that other potential structures are most likely natural shapes, and include a clearing in the jungle, which probably doesn't have anything to do with a lost Mayan city. 

As I mentioned in my original story yesterday, the only real way to confirm the existence of a lost city is to send a team of archaeologists out to examine the site. Considering the skepticism that is being raised from others in the field, it seems unlikely that that will happen soon. Of course, there are some who believe that trained archaeologists have also been caught with egg on their face by being upstaged by a teenager, so they have reason to cast doubt on his findings. Only time will tell at this point. 

15-Year Old Canadian Boy Discovers Lost City in Mexico

A 15-year old boy from Quebec is making headlines today for discovering a lost Mayan city in Mexico. The boy used knowledge of ancient astronomy and Google Earth to locate what appears to be remnants of the civilization that thrived across Central America 2000 years ago. 

While looking at maps of the locations of Mayan cities, William Gadoury learned that those cities lined up with the constellations in the sky as they appeared when the Mayan civilization was flourishing. Using that knowledge, he then began searching satellite imagery on Google Earth looking for structures in specific locations, discovering that one city that should have lined up with a specific star was missing. But after careful examination of a spot in the Yucatan Peninsula, he was able to identify what appears to be man-made object hidden under the dense jungle there.

The actual existence of the lost city has yet to be confirmed on the ground, but other researchers are hailing the discovery as a significant one, and are giving William the credit. Experts say that it appears that there are quite a few man-made structures hidden under a thick canopy of vegetation, including buildings, a road, a town square, and possibly even a pyramid. 

 The teenager has named the city K'aak Chi, which means "Mouth of Fire," and he will present his findings at a scientific gathering in Brazil next year. Meanwhile, archaeologists are already applying his technique of matching star charts to maps in hopes of finding other lost cities as well. 

This is another amazing story that reminds us that there are some things that are still hidden away from us, even in the 21st century. It's hard not to be impressed with this young man and his ingenuity. It's a wonder that no one else has discovered the connection between the stars and the Mayan cities before.